Category: fields and forests



Many years ago, Hubby, two daughters and I lived on Tom’s Creek Road, in rural Reynolds County Missouri.

The road wound and twisted through a small valley, passing a few homes and small farms. Tom’s Creek itself, roamed across fields, along the roadside, looping and singing as it wended along.

Driving the road at night, one would often find a deer or several grazing along the roadside edge or a passing fox or coyote racing across the open space.

The year we lived there, the kids often played in the 6 – 8 inches of water that slipped over rocks near our house. Once or twice rainstorms raised the flow to the top of the 2 foot bank separating our little cabin from the then rushing flow.

Winter brought a couple of ice storms that made leaving impossible without 4 wheel drive; there was no other way to get over the hills at either end of the road.

Fast forward now, Forty-five years or so…

This past weekend, I traveled another Tom’s Creek Road. This one in West Virginia and due to a malfunction with GPS.

In the dark hours of early morning, the unit directed a left turn onto Tom’s Creek Road. Grandson, Randy, my driver and I mentioned how odd/funny/interesting that was. You know, ‘here we drive 800 miles only to find ourselves right back home.’

This one came off a small mountain, filled with several sharp curves and many many deer congregated quite often in the middle of those curves. I did not actually see the creek in the darkness, assuming it was somewhere below the steep edge of the road hugging the mountain side.

There is another local road that fits the West Virginia Tom’s Creek Road, more than its namesake here.

Finally we reached the bottom and a small town near our destination. When we left, we went out the same way, finding that during daylight it was not quite so exciting, merely very picturesque and pleasant.

.


frost flowers

November mornings can bring simple surprises!

Frost flowers are created by water seeping from a stem, then freezing.

This morning we came across a lot of them in our travels.

Delicate beauty, gone when the sun warms the earth.


cedar grove, barns, mennonites, longhorns 033

Barn in Shannon County MO. This is in a Mennonite community.

The one below one was taken in an Amish community near Seymour MO.

I wondered about the projections on top, and did a bit of research. They are called cupolas, put there for added ventilation.

Back when hay was stored in barn lofts, spontaneous combustion was a dire threat to farmers. The cupola helped prevent the buildup of heat in drying hay.

Ladies day 3 Cabool, Seymour, Mansfield EAGLES 054cupola


I walk into the kitchen for more coffee.
Hubby greets me with “It’s 2 below right now.”
“And you think I want to know that?” is my reply.

And it doesn’t really matter, the weather is something we have and can only accept.

Outside my window, sunshine, a few clouds zip across the bright blue sky in the wind.

Cardinals fluffed out to keep warm, stick close to the feeder and preen a bit in the sun.

I think, I can choose to grumble about the cold, or enjoy what is given to me outside that window.

I am warm, cozy and being treated to a lovely view. Things to be happy about, many do not have even this simple pleasure.

The mail brings catalogs of garden seed, poultry and crafts to contemplate over the coming days. Winter will pass.

Daylight arrives a bit earlier and lingers longer, Spring will come , it always does. All is well!


Ice fog settled over Sunrise Ridge during the night. White coats gently wrap branches, waiting for the sun to come over our hilltop. Then my world will be filled with brilliant jewels!

High clouds and blue sky promise some sunshine for the up-coming day.

Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires will sparkle from the branches in the sunlight.
I love  mornings like this – especially when I can stay inside to enjoy it. Sometimes I have to wish for a ‘pirate chest’ to store them up.

It’s a big blessing today, this month has been so overcast that a sunny morning by itself s a great joy.


airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 023 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 037heron airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 086 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 091

airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 052

It was a chilly morning, we could see our breath steam out as we traveled in the fields and forest.

Thistles still raise their heads, pink blossoms bright against the fading vegetation.

A solitary heron breaks the blue above the creek.

The maples begin to show their colors at an old deserted house place. Well kept by the hunters who inhabit it twice a year.

Red, gold, orange sentinels line the highway.

Ripples sing a chorus at the beaver pond.


blood moon eclipse 043A blood moon eclipse 044A blood moon eclipse 049a blood moon eclipse 050ablood moon eclipse 049ablood moon eclipse 044AWay before early thirty this morning, I hauled camera and tripod outside to watch the eclipse.

As it commenced, I noticed the ‘wild things’ around Sunrise Ridge seemed to be upset. Owls, coyotes, and foxes blended an eerie harmony across the Ozark hills.


battle of Pilot Knob 150th anni 064nurse prepared for the battleAnd there I was! I’d read about Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix and other women, making a difference for our men in battle.

I knew I had to help. My brothers, Johnny, Clint and Lucas were out there somewhere. Their infrequent letters filled with tales of things so horrifying. Lives were daily lost for want of nursing skill on the field and in the ragged tent hospitals.

Maw cried, but helped me make my dress, the red trim marking me as a nursing volunteer.Now, here I am following the unit into a skirmish. A bag of bandages and a bottle of white likker in a bag at my hip. Not much to do with, but more than many had.

The drummer boys, no more than 10 or 12 have been shooed away into the woods or back to the earth berm fort behind us.

I can hear the crack of rifles, smoke from the cannons hangs heavy over the field in front.

As I watch, a man out front falls! Those around him carry him back to where I now lay upon the ground. Rifle balls sing over my head like a swarm of mosquitoes. It is all up to me, to help this man.

More are being dragged this way… Where are the ambulances? Blood, blood, blood! Can I do enough to save even one?


One of those ‘perfect’ June afternoons, my toes want to be dangling in cool creek water, splashing gently in the rocks, helping the little ones catch a minnow or crawdad, smelling the wild flowers, listening to the birds and bugs sing the time away… then maybe some hotdogs and s’mores over a camp fire to finish off the day.
Cedar Grove camping trip 2012 010
Better yet, camping along a river, but for today, I will have to be content with just the thoughts and promise of these things to come.


Recently, several of our chickens have gone missing.
We are now down to four hens and one young chicken.
They are free range critters and only go into the coop at night or to lay eggs in the nest boxes. Not long ago, Hubby found a large black snake in the coop. It is no longer there.
Over the last couple of weeks, the outside dogs have been raising a ruckus at night, and a few times I have heard snarling noises around the place.
Yesterday, after the loss of two more of the young chickens we were out checking the game camera and there for us to see was a bobcat. May or may not be the decimater of chickens, but the evidence surly points that way.
In a court of law, I am pretty sure said bobcat would be convicted on circumstantial evidence.
We’ve had the live trap set for a few days, maybe we will catch the culprit, without losing any more chickens.